Several new paintings in this exhibition for Artweeks are united by the theme 'Living with nature'. Human influence was restricted during lockdown enabling more wildlife to prosper, showing how much we usually impact nature by our activities. My paintings explore how humans have lived, and how some still are, living in harmony with nature. I have a particular fascination with the pared down life on a canal boat, a lifestyle emulated on land in the 'tiny house' movement where consumerism is reduced to a minimum. This shows how little 'things' we actually need to live a fulfilling and happy life.
I find nature to have a particular healing beauty,I aim to capture the transient interactions humans have with the natural world, and the transformative effect this can have. My paintings are full of warmth, colour and peaceful solitude, and hopefully will make us all reconsider how we can simplify our lives and reconnect back to nature.
I took up painting in the autumn of 2017 following a stressful period. I had severe joint pain and movement difficulty due to a combination of two auto-immune conditions (rheumatoid arthritis and lupus), and needed a way to 'ground' myself, relax and heal. Having been creative earlier in my life this aspect had been pushed to the side with a busy work and home schedule as mother, Consultant Clinical Scientist and wife; and I realised this was what was missing.
I dabbled in pottery, but my true desire was to paint in oils, even though I had never painted before! I enrolled in a drawing and painting class at Sunningwell School of Art, and then discovered an Irish Artist offering an introductory oil painting course on-line. Since then I have not looked back, the class was amazing and I am now painting most weeks from my home studio.
I learnt to manage my stress and, following some other major changes to my life, the flare-ups reduced and I am now healthy and off almost all medication.
I exhibited my oil paintings for the first time in Artweeks in 2021 and am looking forward to opening my studio again this year with ceramic mosaicist and fellow creative Ellie.